Crazy Simple Raw Kale Salad


Ah, kale.  How do I love thee? Let me enumerate the methods.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my stove can reach.  And also my wok.

I love thee sautéed with a hint of garlic and soy sauce.

I love thee to a level of spice that would top the Richter scale, lightly steamed with lots of chili peppers, ginger and chopped almonds.

I love thee purely, in the raw, with avocado and lemon and olive oil, with a passion that stems from our first encounter oh so many years ago.

On my hectic workday mornings, I love thee all stirred up and blended in a smoothie.

I love thee when I crave something snacky, all coated in a cheezy sauce. And, I have no doubt, I shall but love thee even better after dehydrating.

Yes, there are infinte ways to enjoy kale, and I never tire of the frilly, flirty, leafy green chameleon.  Kale is the Meryl Streep of green leafy vegetables; you can dress it up in an endless number of guises, it easily takes on the accent of any country on the globe, it’s comfortable exhibiting countless incarnations–but underneath it all, it’s still essentially the same, every time.

Kale brings to mind my friend Babe’s mother, who used to pad from bedroom to bedroom each night as she tucked in each of her four children.  After pulling up the covers and smoothing her child’s hair, she’d lean over and whisper, “I love you the most.”  That’s how I feel about kale.  No matter what the meal, no matter how it’s prepared, that’s the one I love the most.

And now, there’s a new favorite kale in town!  As a subscriber to the McDougall newsletter, I came across this salad recipe tucked inobtrusively behind the savory lentil spread, spicy garbanzo pinwheels, and balsamic strawberry dressing this month. What appears at first a mild-mannered, simple and uncomplicated dish belies the underlying complexity and subtle layering of flavors in this recipe.  And once again, the dressing is the true star of the salad.  It’s so good that  The HH and I ate an entire head of kale this way!

I’m thrilled to have another raw kale salad to recommend.  It’s so quick and easy, it’s crazy simple.  A perfect way to add fresh greens to your meal–or make it the meal itself, as we did.

Just like a great poem, this one’s destined to become a classic.

Today’s Question: What’s your go-to recipe for a quick, reliable summer salad?


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Last Year at this Time: Lucky Comestible 5(3): Confetti Quinoa and Wild Rice Salad

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© Ricki Heller

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  1. This looks scrumptious. My latest favorite way to enjoy kale is using Oh She Glows 3 minute parmesan with tahini, coating the leaves and popping it in the dehydrator. I have so many favorite kale dishes though – from variations of salads and chips to occasionally braising it – I have a feeling this one is going to become a new favorite too!

  2. I agree – hail the kale. Thanks for another great recipe Ricki.

  3. I’ve grown to love kale chips, but have yet to venture into the world of raw kale. Maybe this will be the nudge I need.

  4. Wow! That looks good. Almond butter is pretty much like kale in the way it can go everywhere. I think I’ve eaten it three times today already.

  5. I’m afraid I’m going to have to make one of these salads and then attack it. Voraciously!

  6. I’m right there with you in the kale fan club. Love it every possible way!

  7. I love kale too! I should say green kale. The purple and black varietys are just too strong for my taste buds. My favorite way to eat them lately is in the form of Kale Chips. I never thought they would be so good!!
    Your salad looks scrumptious!

  8. I’m really gonna have to try raw kale again. Last time, I hated it. But everyone else seems to love kale raw, and I’m typically NOT a picky eater. So, maybe I didn’t massage it enough last time….I’ll try again. I do love cooked kale though.

    • Yes, give it another try! I really adore cooked kale, too, but I think raw is my favorite. Oh, wait, they’re ALL my favorite. . . 😉

  9. Kale salads are my favorite! This looks amazing!

  10. Almond butter, Kale and asian flavours all my faves combined. This must be good.

  11. I finally jumped in to raw kale and haven’t looked back. Delicious massaged with viniagrette, a little parmesan cheese and some chicken from the grill. We have TONS in our yard so good thing I love it. It is Meryl, and we are but adoring fans.

  12. Haha I love how you compare a mother’s love for her children to your love for kale! I wish I had a recipe for a quick go to summer salad! I’d just throw some lettuce in a bowl with whatever veggies I had on hand, probably some cheese and balsamic vinegar?

  13. Wow! Meryl Streep! That is the best compliment anybody could pay to a leafy green! 😀

    I am determined to eat more leafy greens when we're done traveling for the year, so this recipe has been bookmarked.

    You want to come to Yellowstone and I want to go to Banff National Park! Let's have a National Park Freaky Friday moment, maybe our wishes will come true! 😀

  14. Ha! I had kale and quinoa for dinner, and, of course, it was my favorite.

  15. I sat gazing into the second photo just admiring all the lovely green – but when you said curly kale I realise why I have problems envisioning this raw – I have only seen black kale in our green grocers. Oh and raw salad just doesn't appeal so much in mid winter – but I could imagine lightly sauteing this and using the dressing on it. Makes me wish kale was easier to find here

  16. You know what? I cannot find a single leaf of raw kale here in Germany. At least not in summer. It's considered a winter vegetable only here in G. That is so sad. I think I'm going to use kohlrabi leaves instead.

  17. Johanna, it would be great with cooked kale as well, I have no doubt!

  18. I LOVE kale! I can't wait to try this! I usually make kale chips when I buy kale I cheat and buy the bags of kale and just dump it on a cookie sheet. I rarely eat it raw but I barely cook it so it it almost raw. I'm glad I have a raw recipe now to try.

  19. This dressing sounds amazing! I love kale too! But we’re fairly new to the kale world (less that a year!). I can’t imagine life without it. We have yet to try a kale only salad but this one will definitely work. Thanks for doing the work!

  20. I too share your love affair with kale. Just looking at the picture and the ingredient list is making me crave it. Kale is king…

  21. I am very much in favour of simple salads… So thanks for this! Robyn

  22. I love this post! Very fun and great recipe, bravo! 😉
    I only recently started steering from my usual sauteed Kale with balsamic vinegar drizzled over it. I will be making this tonight with my salmon lox, potato dinner. thx so much!

  23. Anything with kale, and I’m in! Your photos are beautiful! I really hope you will submit this recipe and more to my new “vegan finds” site:


  24. This is delicious. MAde it with pickled ginger and my husband ate it very quickly!

  25. I can’t believe I still have two kale plants hanging on from my spring planting. I’ve been harvesting the outter leaves for months, so they look like kale palms! But I rarely eat it raw. This sounds nice. Thank you for linking up at Two for Tuesday.

  26. Yayyyy Kale – it’s my very favourite vegetable and I happen to have some in the fridge and all the ingredients for this salad. I’ve done 3 posts in a row about Kale so I’ll just enjoy this one 🙂

  27. Yes!!! I, too, LOOOOVE kale! I rarely eat it raw…not sure why. This salad sounds delicious. I should definitely try it. Thanks so much for sharing this with Two for Tuesdays this week 🙂

  28. kale and shakespeare – yup, they go together! I usually eat it in smoothies – will have to try it raw in this recipe! Thanks for linking to Two for Tuesdays!

  29. Hi Ricki and welcome to the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! I am now following you on twitter and I also grabbed your RSS feed! This recipe so brings back memories of my days as a raw vegan! Kale is and has always been a favorite of mine because it is so nutrient dense and I adore the earthy flavor! Thanks for linking up! 🙂 alex@amoderatelife

  30. I, too, have discovered the lusciousness of raw kale. Slaw, salad, sauteed, whatever – and all these years I thought it was merely an “ornamental” plant. Thanks for a terrific post!

  31. Hello. I am Chef AJ, the creator of the Hail to the Kle recipe you have pictured. This salad is sold in several restaurants in Los Angeles. If you like this recipe, please check out my gluten free cookbook, UNPROCESSED, which is available on Amazon and my website. There is even a video showing how to make the salad.

    Love & Kale,
    Chef AJ

    • Hi Chef AJ,
      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog–I’m honored! We adore your salad and make it all the time. So quick, simple, and totally delicious. I can’t wait to check out your book, too! 🙂


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